Queen's Diamond Jubilee Flotilla to Set off from Putney
Monarch to join largest assembly of boats on the Thames in modern times
The largest flotilla of boats to sail on the Thames for 350 years will assemble at Putney on June 3rd, 2012. The event is to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee and she will be amongst the vessels in a specially designed barge. It is estimated that over 1,000 boats will join the flotilla allowing the Queen to claim she has emulated the feat of Helen of Troy.
At 2.30pm the Queen will depart from a Putney pontoon at high water arriving at Tower Bridge 90 minutes later carried, by which time the last boat will have only reached Wandsworth. The flotilla is expected to be seven and a half miles long.
The public are invited to take part in one of the major celebrations of Her Majesty ’s sixty year reign and you can register your boat to join the flotilla. The flotilla will be assembled from across the UK, the Commonwealth and around the World. With a Bank Holiday the following day, the event organisers are planning for well over one million people to line the banks of the Thames to witness the pageant and join in the celebrations.
Rowed boats and working boats and pleasure vessels of all shapes and sizes will be dressed with streamers and Union Jacks, their crews and passengers turned out in their finest rigs. The armed forces, fire, police, rescue and other services are all afloat and there will be historic boats, wooden launches, steam vessels and other boats of note. The flotilla is bolstered with passenger boats carrying up to thirty thousand flag-waving members of the public placed centre stage (or rather mid-river) in this floating celebration of Her Majesty's sixty year reign. The spectacle is further enhanced with music barges, boats spouting geysers and pyrotechnic barges spitting smoke and daytime fireworks. And there will be specially constructed elements like a floating belfry, its chiming bells answered by those from riverbank churches.
Downriver of London Bridge, there is a gun salute and the flotilla passes through a spectacular avenue of sail made by traditional Thames sailing boats, oyster smacks, square riggers, naval vessels and other impressive ships.
Thames piers, riverside roads and bridges will be closed to traffic and there are up to fifty big screens distributed along the route to allow members of the public to enjoy the pageant from all possible vantage points. For families and others with children, Battersea Park is a destination area with a day-long programme of music, traditional funfair and artist-led Jubilee-themed entertainment.
April 5, 2011